Wilder Mind

Wilder Mind

Mumford & Sons

Oh No!!!  Mumford & Sons goes electric, not so bad but to go all stadium set piece Ghost Stories (Coldplay) is a disaster for those who loved their previous rhythm and joy from Sigh no More and after that Babel.

I’ve started listening so I have to finish but this is poorly disguised US targeted Americana ignoring the traditions and originality of electric Dylan, Tom Petty and the like, I will be drawn back to the War on Drugs’ ‘Lost in a Dream’ to restore my faith in music.

‘Believe’, track 2, seems to start OK but then droning and repetitive lyrics that just make me think of  stadiums and lack of originality, it is driving me mad.  “I don’t even know if I believe what your trying to say to me”; tell me about it.

From track 4, the ‘Wilder Mind’, I do start to take some of the above back as the album finally finds its rhythm.  ‘Just Smoke’ and ‘Monster’ eventually calm my nerves, turns out one of the producers is from the National, whom I like a lot, but this explains a lot.  I can’t help thinking the record execs have asked the Mumfords to go ‘Americana’, given them one of their producers and said ‘off you go’.  Or worse, they decided to do this themselves.  On the positive side, I do feel this is a well produced piece of work and it does sound good in the uncluttered production, no gimmicks sense of the word.

The album has heavy New York City links, being recorded largely there, and this comes through regularly in the lyrics.  But if the execs or Mumford were hoping for a Nicaraguan, Joshua Tree moment, and there are echoes of that B-side in here, they’ve blown it.

What do I know about it? What I do know is ‘Lost in a Dream’ was a classic example of wonderful original Americana that was only joy from track to track.   ‘Wilder Mind’ is not, but thankfully for me, a stronger second half of the album saves the day, almost.

Released – UK May 4th 2015

Tompkins Square Park – **
Believe – ***
The Wolf – **
Wilder Mind – ***
Just Smoke – ***
Monster – ****
Snake Eyes – **
Broad Shouldered Beasts – ***
Cold Arms – ****
Ditmass – ***
Only Love – ***
Hot Gates – ***


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